This is part two of a column on the state of Republicanism and how they should move forward.
In 1973, the Supreme Court issued one of their worst rulings ever in Roe v. Wade. Largely made from “whole cloth,” the ruling has started a 40-year fight over abortion that unnecessarily has divided this country. If Republican principles were in place on this issue, then there would be a heated discussion; but the core of the fight would be defused and the issue would be handled at the state level where it properly belongs and where other issues should be handled.
Without being a constitutional scholar, it is difficult to cite each case which has enlarged the power of federal government since Marbury v. Madison. We can say authoritatively that too many things are handled by the federal government, now so large it is ineffective in enforcing the (too) many laws it has promulgated. The feds have stuck their nose into places they don’t belong and they collect too much revenue, which they then disburse to states with far too many strings attached. The interpretation of what is interstate commerce has been gravely abused and needs to be trimmed back so people at the state and local level can make decisions tailored more closely to the needs of their residents.
In last week’s column, we defined that people are voting with their feet and moving to states that are more aligned with their concepts of government and taxation. The Republican Party has stated its strong support of federalism. Governors of Red states have often asked the federal government to keep their noses out of the Governors’ state’s business. Then why can’t we live with that on certain social issues? If a state wants to adopt certain public policies and the people of the state can live with that, then the other states should stand aside. Here are a couple of examples that would help the image of the Republican Party.
Gay Marriage – Republicans may not be able to endorse the concept, but if the people of Maine Washington and Maryland wish to allow gays to marry that is their choice. Such an issue should be determined only after a vote of the people at a major election time (no voting when 12% of voter’s show up). Some egotistical judge should keep his or her hands off of this issue. They know no better than the rest of us as to whether this should be legal. But if Maine wants gay marriage, that is their choice by our Constitution.
What Republicans need to do is openly embrace gays even if not endorsing gay marriage. If there is an election in a state, any opposition to adoption of gay marriage should be based on support of traditional marriage with no hint of anti-gay rhetoric. Gays are not going away, so if you cannot learn to accept them, you need to go live on an island somewhere.
Don’t believe we are naïve. Extreme gay groups argue that if you are against gay marriage, you are anti-gay. We all know that is baloney. Gay groups say there are innumerable laws that are affected by not being able to marry, but they have not gotten that message out very well and that is probably baloney also. If you speak with gays they seem to always cite the same three or four disadvantages of not being able to marry; all of which are resolvable by revised statutes.
Gay interest groups never tell the gays getting married that if the federal government recognizes their marriage, their tax bill will grow substantially since most gay couples are two-earner families. Wait until they start paying the substantial federal marriage penalty and they may wish they did not want to be married. And remember not all gays support gay marriage. It is a burning issue for some, but not all.
Left-leaning groups will attempt to nationalize this issue and circumvent state’s rights. This is not the human rights issue of today. It is just a disagreement albeit an important one. The groups that supported gay marriage and went to the ballot box in Maine, Washington and Maryland did the right thing. The people have voted. If you live in those states and don’t like it – move. If you want to get married – move to those states.
The bottom line is it was the right way to do it and let’s see how it works out.
Legalization of Marijuana – This issue has been bubbling since President Nixon’s Commission on Drugs suggested in 1970 he support decriminalization of marijuana so drug enforcement could be focused on other dangerous illegal drugs.
In over forty years, the war on drugs has been a major failure in part because few people take marijuana usage seriously. They have lived through generations of use and seen very little harm amongst the people they personally know.
Eighteen states now allow some form of marijuana use for medical purposes. All of us know that marijuana has positive medical effects. Yet, most of these laws are shams to cover for legalized marijuana usage. The only people who think the world has fallen apart are the DEA.
If states want to legalize marijuana then let them do it. Colorado seems to have the broadest laws and the state has not sunk into the earth’s core. Other states should look at what they are doing and Republicans should stick to the view that it is a state’s rights issue. The feds should keep their hands off.
These are just two social issues that need to be defined at the state level. Republicans should be on the forefront arguing that each state has the right to make their own decision just like they have argued for 40 years to have abortion decided at the state level. Then people can continue to vote with their feet as was designed by the Constitution.
Our money is on the fact that more and more people will end up in Red states.
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